A little walk inParks and gardensIn Marseille

Parks in Marseille

Marseille benefits from a privileged location in an exceptional natural environment between the sea, hills, and cliffs. The natural borders with the sea to the West and the hills in crown have contributed to the emergence and creation of the sites and unusual landscapes. Half of its territory is made up of natural areas with more than 700 hectares of parks and public gardens.

Unique parks

Parks and gardens in Marseille reflect the city’s great diversity. You will find old gardens such as the ‘Jardin de la Colline Puget’, the first public garden created in Marseille in 1801,  archaeological sites such as the garden of the History museum, idyllic settings with views on the sea such as ‘Parc Valmer’, green oasis like ‘Parc Longchamp’ or parks opening onto natural areas surrounding the city such as ‘Parc Pastré’.

 

Remarkable Gardens

The city counts three “Remarkable Gardens” (a label awarded by the Ministry of Culture and Communication since 2005)

 

Parc Borely

This 17 hectares garden owns an 18th century bastide (museum) enhanced by a “French-style” garden and a 19th century landscaped park. Its paths are very popular with joggers and walkers who enjoy strolling between the rose garden or discovering the rare species in the botanical garden. The lake with its piers, refreshment bar, and restaurant (awaiting new management) adds up to the numerous attractions on site. The ‘Parc Borély’ is also a paradise for children with two playgrounds.

Allée Borély 13008

 

Parc du 26ème centenaire

This urban park of 10 hectares is located on the former Prado railway station, in the heart of Marseille. You can  find a bowling pitch for petanque and two children’s playgrounds. In 2002, four thematic gardens were created (provencal, oriental, african, and asian) symbolising the mix of cultures specific to Marseille.

Rond-point Zino Francescatti-13010

 

Parc de la Magalone

In the heart of this garden nestled on Boulevard Michelet (surface area 1.4 hectares), we can find one of the rare bastides of the 18th century. Messire Raphael de Magalone, the owner, gave his name to the bastide. The garden was redesigned in 1901 by the landscape gardener Edouard André. As a true baroque garden, values and perspectives, spaces and depths take all their relief by drawing geometrical shapes.

245 , Boulevard Michelet – 13009

Gardens listed as Historic monuments

We can find in Marseille two gardens listed as Historic monuments.

 

Parc du palais Lonchamp

The garden of ‘Palais Lonchamp’ has been built up over time by the stratification of various projects, imagined or made on the site, since the 19th century: the ‘parc Lonchamp’, ‘parc Borély’, the ‘jardins de la Magalone’ and the ‘parc du  26 ème centenaire’ were awarded the ” Remarkable Garden” label by the Ministry of Culture in 2005. It was a zoological garden from 1854 to 1987.

Place Henri Dunant – 13004

 

Jardin des Vestiges

The site of the Antique port (known as ‘le jardin des vestiges’ when it opened to the public in 1983) is the result of the first major urban archaeological excavations carried out in France. The remains, revealed in 1967 on a building site of the Centre bourse, are major historical landmarks. The site is structured around the Roman road, the Greek ramparts, and around the Ancient port where the largest visible shipwreck in the world was discovered. This Roman road, lined with funerary monuments, enters the city through a monumental entrance.

The entrance is through the  History museum inside the shopping center “Centre Bourse”.

 

The one and only “Calanques National Park”!

Famous all over the world for its grandiose landscapes of plunging limestone cliffs into the sea and Cosquer’s grotto, “the Calanques” is also home to exceptional biodiversity and cultural heritage.

First national park in Europe to also be terrestrial, marine, insular and peri-metropolitan, the Calanques National Park is a project of regional importance.

 

Other exceptional parks and gardens in the city of Marseille.

 

‘Parc de la Buzine’

The ‘Château de la Buzine’ owes its fame to Marcel Pagnol who bought it with a project of opening there a real city of Cinema. When he arrived on the spot, the writer was surprised and recognize the building that he and his family walked past on the “chemin de la treille”56 , Traverse De la Buzine – 13011

 

Jardin du Pharo

The Emile Duclaux garden surrounding le ‘Palais du Pharo’, is characterized by the breathtaking view of the ‘Vieux- port’ and the North coast of Marseille. A path located by a cliff gives the opportunity for walkers to discover amazing views. The site is ideal to observe the procession of ferries leaving the ‘Vieux Port’, a real invitation to travel. During his stay in Marseille, in 1852, Louis Napoleon was seduced by the area and expressed the wish to own a residence there with his feet in the water. On the 15th of August 1858, the first stone of the palace was laid.

Boulevard Charles Livon – 13007 Marseille

 

Parc Pastré

Between ‘la pointe rouge’ and ‘la Grotte Rolland,’ the parc Pastré is spread out on 112 hectares until the hills of Marseilleveyre. In 1974, the countess Pastré gave a part of her property to the city. The site, which has become one of the most beautiful jewels of the city’s Heritage, has two ponds, a canal, playgrounds, and hiking trails that seduce its many users. The upper part of the site retains its wild character and opens to the hills of Marseilleveyre and the discovery of the Calanques. The entire wooded area is a  gateway for hiking lovers.

155, Avenue de Montredon – 13008

 

Parc Balnéaire du Prado

Before 1975, in spite of this 20 km seafront, Marseille did not have any facilities allowing swimmers easy access to the sea. With the creation of the parc Balnéaire du Prado, 26 hectares of green spaces are now in harmony with 10 hectares of sandy beaches. Very user-friendly, this seafront park seduces with its multitude of assets in every season. Also, an internationally recognized skatepark (called the Bowl) is available to all sports enthusiasts, right after the Escale Borély.

Avenue Georges Pompidou – 13008

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